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Silent Waters

Silent Waters (2004)

tomatometer

70

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 6

Set in the late 1970s, Silent Waters is a well-meaning but plodding look at the rise of extremism in Pakistan.

88

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1

Set in the late 1970s, Silent Waters is a well-meaning but plodding look at the rise of extremism in Pakistan.

audience

88

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 866

My Rating

Movie Info

Set in 1979 Pakistan, General Zia-ul-Haq has imposed martial law and, within a few months, the country is decreed a Muslim state. Aicha, a well-adjusted woman in her forties, devotes her life to the education of her eighteen-year-old son Salim, in the little village of Charkhi, in the Pakistani Pendjab. Salim is a quiet dreamer, but the fast moving political situation fills Aicha with anxiety, since her son is changing out of all recognition.

Unrated,

Art House & International, Drama

Sabiha Sumar

Sep 20, 2005

First Run Features - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (6) | DVD (3)

By the time you understand the meaning of its title, Sabiha Sumar's film has delivered an emotional punch.

March 11, 2005 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Even behind the veil, the movie tells us, there is dissent -- cinematic dissent.

February 11, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Silent Waters means well, but falls way short of its mark of enlightening the world to the plight of South Asian women in this period of history. It just isn't believable enough.

November 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The filmmakers provide a well-meaning, well-timed Pakistani portrait.

October 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although taking place 25 years in the past, director-writer Sabiha Sumar's debut feature has relevance in the world as we now know it.

October 8, 2004
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sabiha Sumar's debut feature could scarcely be more relevant to Pakistan's present, or, given this country's history of backing such repressive regimes, to ours.

October 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Puts you in the middle of the action and allows you to understand, if not empathize with, all the main characters.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Leaden and dull.

June 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

An interesting, if incomplete, picture of a community torn apart by religious zealotry.

June 3, 2005
Salt Lake Tribune

Swirls amid memory and dreams while reflecting how much is masked by two-faced rhetoric, and how overlooked the victims of patriarchal nationalism and Islamism are.

April 7, 2005
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

As a moviegoing experience, it's a sadly slim proposition.

February 10, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

...sporadically intriguing film that's ultimately sunk by director Sabiha Sumar's occasionally simplistic and melodramatic treatment of the material.

November 21, 2004 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

An indictment of intolerance, Silent Waters is a truly powerful picture, and of the sort that sneaks up on you and stays with you long after you've left the theatre.

November 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Gripping and ultimately tragic.

October 8, 2004 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A more nuanced approach would have better articulated their allure to impressionable youth.

October 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Stirring on religious and humanitarian levels, and very timely notwithstanding its 1979 setting.

October 7, 2004 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

...it presents an engaging and informative depiction of Pakistan's tumultuous history from an intimate perspective.

July 11, 2004 Full Review Source: All Movie Guide
All Movie Guide

This incredibly moving film set in a small village in Pakistan in 1979 explores the religious upheavals that turn a nurturing mother's life upside down.

April 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Silent Waters

Beautiful film that deals with the remnants of the issues of partition. Family secrets are unveiled when Sikh pilgrams arrive in Pakistan and the eldest son goes fundamentalist. Saddening.
October 5, 2012
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Emotionally gripping. I felt connections with both the Pakistani Muslims and the Hindi Sikhs during this Islamic movement.
October 8, 2007
crazydannielle16

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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Foreign Titles

  • Khamosh Pani: Silent Waters (DE)
  • Khamosh Pani: Silent Waters (UK)
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